Celebrate God’s creation!
Have you ever seen dogs and cats at church? At this time of year, you might — along with hamsters, tortoises, and maybe even a chicken or two! What are they doing there?
They’re receiving a blessing! The blessing of pets is one way we celebrate the Feast of St.
Francis of Assisi, who saw God’s love in everything God has created. Francis was born into a wealthy family in Assisi, Italy, sometime around 1181. One day, while Francis prayed in an old church, he heard God speaking to him: “Francis, repair my church.” Francis set out to fix the building, using some of his dad’s money. That made his father angry, and he dragged Francis to the bishop, saying Francis was stealing. But Francis was inspired by God to begin a new life. He realized he didn’t need money or worldly goods. He took off his clothes and handed them to his dad. (The shocked bishop quickly gave Francis an old brown robe to wear!) Francis now understood that it wasn’t a church building that needed repairing. God’s Church was his people, and they needed help.
Francis began preaching about the joy of God’s love. He cared for the sick and suffering. He owned nothing, joyfully trusting that God would provide everything he needed. Others joined him, and they became known as Franciscans. Today, Franciscan friars, brothers, sisters, and laypeople still care for God’s people and creation, just as Francis did.
We are all called to bless and care for God’s creation. That doesn’t mean just animals. In springtime, many farmers ask God’s blessings on their seeds. At harvest time, we often thank God for the blessings of our food. And every day, we bless and care for people. Look around you, at the people, places, and things that God has made.
How will you bless and care for these amazing gifts today?
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CONNIE CLARK is editor of Living Faith Kids, a magazine of daily Catholic devotions for children. To learn more, visit LivingFaithKids.com.
This article was originally published in Catechist magazine, October 2019.
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